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Northwoods mom speaks out after her five-year-old daughter was bullied for monthsSubmitted: 02/21/2020
Peter Dubois
Peter Dubois
Reporter/Anchor
pdubois@wjfw.com

Northwoods mom speaks out after her five-year-old daughter was bullied for months
RHINELANDER - Being bullied as a child can leave a lasting impact. It's a problem that affects students around the world.

Mother of three Mindy Boyer has seen the damage bullying causes locally.

"We're starting to learn how to deal with this and I didn't want her missing out on any more school," said Boyer about her five-year-old daughter Willow.

Willow is a student at Pelican Elementary in Rhinelander. In a cell phone video, Boyer captured Willow in tears at home after she asked her daughter about school.

"He calls me disgusting," Willow cried in the video. "I don't like when he calls me disgusting."


Boyer quickly learned her daughter had been bullied regularly for months.

"Willow among others has been publicly embarrassed and taunted and bullied by one specific child," said Boyer. "Things have gotten physical with other students including my child."

Willow told her mother that a boy would corner her and call her names almost every day.

"When a child hears that they're disgusting every single day, their self-worth plummets," said Boyer. "They are eventually going to start to believe that, regardless of how hard a parent at home lets them know how great they are."

After multiple calls for action, Boyer said the School District of Rhinelander had failed to uphold its "no tolerance policy" for bullying.

"I was told that there was a difference because of their age," said Boyer. "[Because] they're five, this is a time for learning, and those disciplinary actions can't always be considered for a five-year-old."

Boyer said rather than discipline the bully, administrators advised her to home school Willow. Instead, she had her daughter moved to a different kindergarten class at Pelican Elementary where she was welcomed with open arms.

However, Boyer thinks more needs to be done.

"Administration mentioned that they cannot promise these two will not see each other in the hallways, interact at lunch, and it's something that they'll have to learn to deal with," said Boyer.

In the meantime, Boyer continues to encourage her daughter in hopes of keeping her spirits high.

"What I like to tell Willow is that they don't know the real you and they don't realize how amazing you truly are," said Boyer.

District administrators declined to comment at this time.

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